#Kingdom #Business is Booming…

Today, I have the most amount of friends that I have ever had in my life at one time. I mean, I have had plenty of acquaintances, but the number of genuine people that have been a friend to me can be counted on one hand. The number is small, and personally, I like it that way, but I feel God stretching me.

I try to give the people and things that I care about my undivided attention. I’m the person who’s not on their cell phone at breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I also don’t like rationing out my love. I like to give out as much as I can for keeps, and for free, if you’re not a pig, that is (See Matthew 7:6). Up until recently (like hours ago recently…this is fresh!), my analytical mind figured a small number of friends would allow me to strategically drop lump sums of love on everybody, resulting in happiness for all. It was a big fat burrito versus numerous street tacos kind of approach. street taco burritoIf you ask me, it’s a brilliantly inappropriate formula that works as long as the numbers don’t increase. But, Kingdom business is booming, and something’s gotta change. Times like these make me happy. They are those sweet and sour crooked path being made straight types of moments, and I’m all about it! I’m noticing that there are suddenly more mouths to feed, and I am but one chef cooking in the kitchen. There are suddenly more sheep to tend and I’m just a little ol’ sheep myself. Kingdom business is booming, and something’s gotta change.

business booming

cut the stringsMany of my friends, like myself, are probably used to my level of availability. Their level of support and maturity vary, but regardless, it comes down to me. I’ve been the kind, single friend with a different type of busyness that truthfully, I haven’t respected much. I’ve had a willingness to be there and set myself aside. Sometimes it’s a labor of love, which is great and necessary, but mostly it’s been a neglectful puppet act that displeases the Lord, and myself. It’s been an unhealthy form of bondage, like all forms of bondage are…unhealthy. My puppet strings are showing, and I can’t do it anymore.

As I sit here on this threshing floor with Jesus, looking at all the dreams and opportunities that He’s dropping on purpose for me, I realize that there is no way I can attain them with this posture. I am weak and I need His perfect strength to make me strong. I need Him to take it from here.

…He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

Lord, please forgive me for taking Your place, and getting in Your way. It is not my job to meet the needs of my friends (or anyone). In fact, there is absolutely no way that I can do it, for You are their Shepherd! I see that Your family is growing. Your church is growing, and many new relationships are forming that I just can’t keep track of. Thank You for every friend, brother, and sister You have blessed me with. I submit them all to you, Father. Past, present, and future. I entrust them all in Your hands, and ask that You would appropriate each one. I am free to do Your will and mine, and I do not have to apologize or feel bad for doing either one, which are truly the same. I love You, and I thank You for bringing this up. Thank You for allowing me to come to the end of myself and recognize the err in my ways and my need of You, My Savior.

I thank You for these important life changes, and I ask that You would help me to set appropriate boundaries and help all who are affected by them to adjust accordingly . Snip my puppet strings! I remove the pressure off of myself to be someone that I am not, and I embrace imperfect me, and choose to love her. *sigh* Thank You for Your burden that is light, and Your yoke that is easy. You are such a Good Father. I ask that You would continue to do what You do, and help me to follow in Your way. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

 

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#Life, #Love, & #Heaven on #Earth

Hello loves! It’s been a while, I know, but good news…I’ve been growing tons and have a bit of it to share.  Since my last post, I’ve raised my standard of living quite a bit with attention to a couple of key areas that I’ve outlined. Now, let’s see if I remember how to write ha.

I feel the need to share this because I think people frequently admire or develop a bit of hate towards a person based on what we do not know. We covet another’s physical and spiritual gifts and blessings, without fully understanding why they have what they have or what they did to get where they are.  Few are ready and willing to make the necessary changes to come higher.  Noses get turned up at those with high standards, while bitterness festers in their heart as if salvation isn’t free. Friends, you have to know and embrace this as truth: You can have as much of your inheritance that you tap into. To whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48).  This is simply how I carry my cross, today.  Carry yours as you see fit.

music_notes“…Day and night they never stop saying:
‘Holy, holy, holy,

is the Lord God Almighty,’ 
who was, and is, and is to come.”

~ Revelation 4:8b (NIV) ~

MUSIC…

For years one type of fast that I have partaken of is a fast from secular music where for a period of time: days, weeks, month(s) progressively, I would replace all secular music I habitually listened to with worship music honorable unto the Lord (i.e. Contemporary Christian, Gospel, Christian Rap, etc.). As these fasts became easier, I noticed during them, that I also became stronger. I saw clearer. I heard better. I was further from the world and I was closer to heaven. That’s the goal, right?

This may come to a shock to some of you, but the angels in heaven are focused on eternal things that matter. They aren’t bumpin’ your favorite Kanye, Jay Z, or Beyonce jams. The fallen “angels” on earth however, are producing them (but that’s another post).

Media comes at us with junk whether we want to consume it or not. At some point we have to take responsibility for what we choose to filter.

Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own, You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.

~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (AMP) ~

So, in raising my standard of living and finding a new expression of love for My Abba, aside from minimizing television watching and narrowing selections, I have chosen to toss out all of my secular music that does not honor God or heaven. Now this doesn’t mean I don’t sing a random hook that’s already been downloaded in my spirit or bop my head while shopping, but hopefully one day, I will be able to be a bit more “not of this world”. I’m a work in progress. For now, I am proud of me. The praises of God are considerably outweighing any other sound in my life. He is worthy.

Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting.

~ 2 Corinthians 4:8 (AMP)~

CAREER/EDUCATION…

I work in the legal industry, and recently, I was accepted into an outstanding paralegal program at a well approved university. Exciting, right? Yoddler_359_LargeYes, God is so kind.  God is kind because he honors our requests even when they are not necessarily best. The very day that I received acceptance, I was up late sharing intimate time with my Beloved, studying His word, and embracing His love. I suddenly became overwhelmingly saddened by the thought that in a few months, the bible I was holding would soon be replaced with a textbook. It would only be a year, but I couldn’t help but wonder in anguish how many souls that meant. In fact, I was praying fervently for a precious one that night!  If but one was lost, my heart would hurt forever.  The financial debt for career advancement was worth it, but the spiritual debt for potential hell advancement of God’s people? That is not.  One soul is too many.

 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

~ Matthew 16:26 (NIV) ~

I made the best destiny decision of my life that night. I decided to seek first, the kingdom of God, and trust God to add unto me the rest (Matt. 6:33). My heart is still smiling at this decision and the idea of my Heavenly Father receiving maximum glory for all of “my” accomplishments. I’m just striving to get more names written in the book of life.  I’m going hard before I go home.

“LOVE LIFE”…

I am mentioning this because my “love life” for lack of a more fitting description, seems to always be an amusing blog segment and I dare not let ya down haha. I am happy to say that I am currently single and open to being pursued. Last year, I was crushing, but not open, and I requested in hopes of not limiting God, just one solid year to just establish myself all-around. He has granted my request. He’s so sweet like that.

loveDelight yourself in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

~ Psalm 37:4 (ESV) ~

All conceit aside, I am the strongest and most beautiful that I have ever been. The more I learn of my God, I learn of myself, and love me. I don’t hold the hands of time, but now seems like a pretty good one. In Christ I am assured that there is no need to rush on my end, for there is no delay on His; love is patient.

 [He said] I charge you, O you daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or by the hinds of the field [which are free to follow their own instincts] that you not try to stir up or awaken [my] love until it pleases.

~ Song of Solomon 2:7 (AMP) ~

There is something about nighttime. #GoodMourning #Poetry #Grief #Sorrow

I’ve smiled every day since I remembered you were here
But then long after sunset
my eyes shed a tear

There is something about nighttime.

I’ve laughed many moments before the high tide of darkness arrived until, “Bam!”, the news…

was prescribed
I sighed
before I cried
and denied
then realized that…

There is something about nighttime.

I thought you were just dancing to the beat of a hip, fast song
But all this time, the lights were dim,
And I was totally wrong.

Man.

When I prayed for your fire
And I prayed for your faith,
I had no idea how much was at stake
Believe me when I say, I knew
not at all that…
ashes would await.

Gosh.

Lord, you said that joy cometh in the morning but for all of us, I am requesting an exception for tonight. Because…

There is something about nighttime.

©2013 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

Half-Baked #Growth #Maturity #Relationships

I’m always talking about how our relationships can be better. How the Lord desires to prosper them and how we should desire the same as He. But, you know what?

To whom much is given, much is required. (Luke 12:48)… and to be quite honest, too many people walk around wanting much and not wanting to give what’s frickin’ required let alone anything. They want to have the cake and eat it too. They want all the good and it maybe it shouldn’t annoy me, but I love them and it does. I want better for people just like I want better for me. They glide through life with an air or sense of entitlement about them. When in all actuality, this life has never been solely about us. We wouldn’t need anyone if that was so. They appear to be fully baked but their gooey in the middle simply ’cause their butts didn’t wanna stay in the oven as long as the other cookies. It makes me wanna climb at the top of the mountain and yell “Just stay in the frickin oven, dag!”. But one thing is for sure is that you can’t make anyone be passionate about something that you are. Your passion is your passion. My passion is growth…overcoming…being better. I try not to get upset, but dag, I know the benefit of it and I want people to have that. I want people to want that, so they can strive for that, and have that. That’s what I want. I want us to celebrate our victories together. Yay!! I want to save the world, maybe even from themselves.

Now, I know people get by and we have free will and sometimes make whack choices. We develop friendships and romantic relationships with people who truthfully we don’t deserve or don’t deserve us. It is what it is. For whatever reason, God allows it and really His grace is just so darn sufficient that we get a lot of breaks. Do something with them though! Seriously, I feel like crying right now because there’s so many of you out there who have blessings in store for you that you will never obtain because of your unwillingness to truly submit unto God like you’ve never have before. To truly lay down what you want for what He wants. To truly say okay, you’re the boss, I’ll be still…let’s get uncomfortable and let’s face it.

“If you want a butterfly you’ve got to be a butterfly” – India.Arie

Now I’m not perfect, but I don’t consider myself half-baked. However, if you’ve consulted with God and He considers me half-baked, He’s right lol. One thing that I can attest is that I am determined to be fully baked and so I am in Jesus’ name. Being better than yesterday is not an option. Since I’m not a fan of a half-baked me, I certainly don’t want to be in any kind of half-baked relationships…at least not forever. They can only have potential for so long before you realize it ain’t happenin’!

I’m in tears. Bittersweet tears. I’ve always heard and received that “it takes two”, but recently I’ve reached the sad realization of that statement. It doesn’t matter how hard we try or how long we bake, the success of any type of relationship is an unrealistic expectation when the focus is only on the growth of one individual. Success is much, and to whom much is given, much is required. You’ve heard it before…actions speak louder than words. We can’t do it alone. It will forever take two and I am only one.

So however your relationships are — surfaced, deep and lasting, decide where you want it to go…accept the truth regarding where it is and where it’s heading, and do what you gotta do.

My pastor back home said something like…the things our spirit wants to do in that lead to breakthrough will never agree with our flesh. That’s the type of season we’re in guys. Make wise choices. I’m praying for you.

So even after allllll of that gumbo, I say…we shall still remain hopeful in all things because God is a miracle worker and an exception to the “It takes two” statement. He can do what He wants, and sometimes even the slightest of decisions that we make can change our destiny.  Be hopeful. Accept the truth. Keep growing. Move forward and realize that sometimes, sometimes people are just in our lives for seasons. Or, sometimes they’re just half-baked and are never gonna stay in that daggon oven!

> In the Middle < #Relationships

Have you ever been seemingly stuck in the middle of something? Something that probably doesn’t even have to do with you? Something which possibly affects you, but your name is not on but somebody (consciously or unconsciously) pencils you in as a volunteer? Yea, believe me, it can whomp.

Once upon a time, in elementary school, I was a conflict manager on the playground. I must have been in like 5th grade. I had a fancy vest, clipboard and all. Got a conflict? I was your gal! Resolving petty issues which seemed large at the time. When the bell rang and everyone had to freeze, who didn’t? That’s right, me! Why? cuz I was the Conflict Manager lol. So funny…I walked just because I could. While I wouldn’t call myself a conflict manager today, I would say that I definitely still possess those qualities that would make me a good one and are beneficial to my relationships.

“As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” – Proverbs 27:17

True, but never should us partaking in sharpening iron and the countenance of our friends be detrimental to ourselves and jack up our own countenance. I doubt that was God’s intention. It shouldn’t be an inappropriate exchange when our motives are right. I think He’d desire for both of our countenances to be dazzling (lol, dazzling). That’s just my thought.

The enemy is constantly trying to pervert the word of God and all ways of doing right. So many times we’re unconsciously erred in our ways for various of reasons. This is why I love the beginning of Hosea 4:6 (My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge). We hurt ourselves and each other simply because we do not know, or share for that matter. We’re not called to be hoarders.

Back in the day I had an acquaintance who’d call and vent – that’s fine, us friends need to do that sometimes (I know I do!). But in all actuality, that was the only time we’d talk, and she’d dump a load of problems (unintentionally). I’d receive it and feel like crap (unintentionally) and she’d feel great and skip on her merry little way. Do you see where I was inappropriate? The bible says, “You shall have no other gods before Me. -Exodus 20:3

He’s God, I am not. It is never our position to fulfill His role and “get in the way”. I had to learn how to give her problems to Him and show her as I showed myself that He’s the source and I can’t save the day. I begin praying for myself and asking God what he wants me to hear and say in this conversation. Asking him to prepare me before the conversation, and truly surrendering it all. If the Lord wants me to be an awesome iron, by golly I’m gonna seek Him and ask Him to show me how to be the best darn iron that I can be…and I encourage you to do the same.

Have a wonderful weekend lovers – remember our Savior!

Today! #WhitneyHouston #RIP

I just got done shouting and praising the Lord after sitting here and watching the funeral of Whitney Houston. Shouts and tears of joy. Joy? yes.

The Winans just sung “Tomorrow” and it moved me so much..

I thought about all of the souls in that church and all the souls in America glued to the television today. All of the souls mourning, grieving, hurting, celebrating, and thus prepared to receive The Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior, or at least receive a seed in the form of words; a message, just for them. Just for you. I’m reminded of this scripture…

Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof; and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. – Ecclesiastes 7:8

As many mourn, as we mourn, I’m grateful that her end is better than her beginning. That the latter IS greater (Haggai 2:9). That despite the tons of speculation, views and opinions regarding Whitney’s death. Ha, people tryna tell other people how they should be feeling about it. Sympathetic? Apathetic? Whatever. I am grateful that she was a child of God who went through life. Now, the heavens rejoice, and I rejoice along with them because I know, that I know, that I know (did I say I know??) that her life has impacted many…that souls have been touched, if not but only today. Today is what matters.

Better is one day in Your courts, Lord, than thousands elsewhere. My sister, Whitney Houston is in the waiting room of the King’s courts. I’m sorry that your children argue and bicker about how she got there. Ha, It matters none to me, and I pray that in due time it will matter none to them. May we be a people concerned about today and the heart of the matters of today so that tomorrow will be all you intended it to be. So that we don’t miss “it”, whatever our “it” is (we all have our own). May we not only love, but express that love genuinely and freely, today.

If you’re arguing, shut up and love. If you don’t have anything nice to say, I dare you to say something nice anyway. If you’ve been putting Jesus off until tomorrow…today is the day you should stop.

That’s all I have to say. Let the church say, Amen…today!